Janet Jackson was finally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The multifaceted entertainer was honored during the ceremony, which took place in Brooklyn, and gave a moving speech where she chronicled her career. Producers and songwriters James “Jimmy Jam” and Terry Lewis were in the audience, and Jackson publicly thanked them for their profound influence in shaping her early career by calling them her “two dads” as well as “brilliant producers, incredible songwriters, wise teachers, and my great friends.” There was one message that Jackson delivered specifically for the Rock Hall executives, however: “induct more women.”
I also wanna say a personal word to each and every fan. You’ve been with me every step of the way—through all my ups, all my downs. I have never, never have and I never will, take you for granted. I love you with all my heart. Thank you so much. Thank you God for giving us life and the ability to embody goodness. With God, all is possible and all is good. And I just, I wanna thank my baby, my beautiful son. He wakes me up every single morning singing his own little melodies. He’s only 2, you guys. And I want you to know you are my heart. You are my life. And you have shown me the meaning of real unconditional love. Mumma loves you, Eissa, ra–ra–ra! And Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, please, 2020: induct more women. Thank you so much for this honor. I love you so much. Thank you.
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Janelle Monaé had the honor of introducing Jackson, an icon and one of Monaé’s idols who she called the “legendary queen of black girl magic.” Monaé took the audience through a history of Jackson’s albums, reminding them of the cultural impact of records such as Control and Rhythm Nation.
We gather all around the world with your music as our soundtrack. We celebrate you for fighting for women’s rights. We celebrate you for going high when they go low. We celebrate you for being an ally to the LGBTQIA+ communities and marginalized voices around the world. We applaud you for your commitment to excellence. We celebrate you for giving us memories we wish we could bottle up and save for the next lifetime. History is not complete without you, Janet.